NIGHTMARE ALLEY
1948, 20th Century Fox, 110 min, USA, Dir: Edmund Goulding

An ambitious carnival barker (Tyrone Power) moves from a mind-reading act with carny veteran Zeena (Joan Blondell) to performing the same act in an upscale nightclub with his new, ex-carny wife (Coleen Gray). He consequently becomes involved in scamming a wealthy man with the help of a duplicitous psychiatrist (Helen Walker). Widely regarded today as a classic noir thriller, NIGHTMARE ALLEY was Power's own project and gave the actor his best role. He was up to the task, delivering the greatest performance of his career. Unfortunately, his boss, Darryl F. Zanuck, panicked when he saw the leading man he had so carefully made into a superstar playing a low-life. He gave the film no publicity, never pushed the film or actors for any awards and quickly withdrew it from circulation. The film was ahead of its time – its grit and cynicism are perfect for today's audience.


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